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People's Commonwealth of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
Flag of Britain
Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Britannia
Flag Coat of arms
Anthem: The Red Flag
The Red Flag (anthem)
Great Britain (orthographic projection).svg
Location of Britain
Capital
and largest city
180px-Arms of the Greater London Council.svg London
51°30′N 0°7′W
Official languages English
Recognised regional languages Welsh, Scots, Scottish Gaelic, Ulster Scots, Irish
Ethnic groups White
Black
Asian
Mixed
Demonym British, Briton, Brit (informal)
Government Federal one-party state socialist state
Nigel Brockhurst
Erica Victor
William Fawcett
Legislature Assembly of Regions and Nations
Establishment
• Acts of Union 1699
May 1st, 1699
17th March 1918
Area
• Total
315,159 km2 (121,684 sq mi) (69th)
Population
• 2015 estimate
70,763,528
GDP (PPP) 2018 estimate
• Total
$2.898 trillion
• Per capita
$40,958
GDP (nominal) 2018 estimate
• Total
$2.692 trillion
• Per capita
$38,043
Gini 28.9
low
HDI (2014) 0.899
very high · 11th
Currency Pound Sterling (£)
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)
• Summer (DST)
BST (UTC+1)
Date format dd/mm/yyyy (AD)
Drives on the left
Calling code +44
Patron saint Saint George (England)
Saint Andrew (Scotland)
Saint David (Wales)
Saint Patrick (Northern Ireland)
Internet TLD .gb

The Commonwealth of Great Britain and Northern Ireland more commonly known as Britain, is a sovereign state consisting of all three countries on the isle of Great Britain, those being SFR England, SR Scotland, and SR Wales as well as several smaller islands along with fifteen overseas territories. A fourth constituent country, SRF Ireland is located on the island of Ireland. One special administrative regions exist within the Commonwealth, that being the City of London. ]

The relationships among the countries of the Commonwealth have changed over time. Wales was annexed by the Kingdom of England in 1543. In 1699 England and Scotland unified became the worlds dominant imperialist power. In 1919 a workers revolution swept through the country that saw the overthrow of the Lord Protector and the creation of a socialist state. Committed to an early form of socialism the new government created a large welfare state in Britain under single party rule. During WWII the government successfully fought against the Nazi's. After the war Britain initially was aligned to the Soviet Union but due to issues over decolonisation and ideological differences in the 1950's the commonwealth abandoned its pro-Soviet policy and aligned closer to the first world. Many of its colonies were granted independence as the government started to further reforms making Britain into a mixed economy that balanced out a booming private sector with an expensive state maintained one.

Currently Britannia operates under a federal socialist commonwealth. Britannia is ranked as a major power as well as being a nuclear weapons state having a large economy. Once possessing an empire covering a quarter of the globe Britannia has a large influence with its language and culture prevalent around the world. Britain whilst no longer the superpower it was in the 19th century is still one of the most powerful nations politically, culturally, scientifically, militarily, and economically. It is part of the United Nations currently holding a permanent seat on the security council s well as being a leading member of NATO, the Commonwealth of Nations, G7, G8, Council of Europe, World Trade Organization, G20 and the IOSS.

Etymology

Britain comes from the Roman occupation of the island, deriving from the Greek words Prettanike or Brettaniai, and the term used to describe the natives of the islands (Britons).

History

Norman Invasion (1066)

In 1066 the kingdom of England was ruled by Saxon king Harold Godwinson ruled over the Kingdom of England, but his rule was challenged by the French nobleman William of Normandy and Norwegian king Harald Hardrada. William was reportedly promised the throne by Godwinsons predecessor Edward the Confessor while Hardrada humiliated after his failed defeats in his wars with the Danish sought to expand his kingdom further.

Hardrada landed first into the northern regions of England quickly overrunning York. Godwinson marched his army quickly to York, catching the Vikings by surprise and massacring them all including Hardrada. It was then did William attack the south of the kingdom of England from the cliffs of Dover, before facing staunch resistance. Williams and Godwinsons Army met at the Battle of Hastings which resulted in a resounding victory for William, who crowned himself King of England shortly thereafter.

Medieval period

English Civil War (1629-1651)

The events that inspired the later socialist revolution of Britain was the English Civil War. Prior to war reigning English king Charles I had caused a rift to form between him and the English parliament. This rift was caused partly by Charles belief in the Divine Right of Kings that granted him complete control of
Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper
ENgland and Scotland in lieu of parliament (a view imposed onto him by his father James I of England). Charles also caused controversy due to his alleged Roman Catholic beliefs, with the Church of England being the state religion.

Relationships between the two parties became worse as Charles dissolved parliament from 1629-1640 in a period known as "Eleven years of Tyranny". Although Charles was able to broker peace with both the Kingdom of Gaul and the Kingdom of Spain the Crown's debts were still to large for the king to pay off with parliament refusing to give any of their revenue towards him. After facing a rebellion in Caledonia after failing to create a uniform British church Charles reformed parliament, but quickly dissolved it again after they refused to invade Caledonia. This invasion failed with the Caledonia instead pushing into English boarders. Unable to raise funds to supply the England army Charles reformed parliament.

This parliament started to question Charles legitimacy as a ruler, and accused Charles of supporting Irish Catholic insurgents in Ireland, as well as stating many nobles of being guilty of treason. After an unsuccessful attempt to arrest five members of parliament Charles fled from London to the north of England. This soon led to the country becoming divided as areas of England proclaimed themselves as either allies to parliament (Parliamentarians) or loyal to Charles (Royalists).

The early stages of the war went well for Royalist forces, but by 1643 thanks to the leadership of Oliver Cromwell, Thomas Fairfax and Robert Devereux (especially the latters during the First Battle of Newbury) the Parliamentarians were able to gain the advantage. In 1647 Charles was handed to parliament by the Caledonians where he was placed under house arrest. Aside from a new minor Royalist uprisings parliament had effective control of England, with its dominant leader being Oliver Cromwell, who formed the Rump parliament in an effective military coup to cement Parliamentarian control over England.

Charles was put on trial for treason, with Charles being executed by beheading on the 30th January 1649, with the monarchy being effectively abolished and the war ending. The Rump Parliament established an English Republic under the Council of State, abolishing the House of Lords. Charles son Charles II however managed to escape to the Netherlands.

Ireland was subjected to harsh treatment by the army with Cromwell ordering the massacre of many Irish Catholics, and eventually ending the Irish Catholic Confederation putting Ireland under British control.

The Protectorate (1653-1701)

In 1653 the Rump parliament was dissolved under the orders of Cromwell who along with John Lambert drafted the Instrument of Government which vested executive power in the hands of a Lord Protector, a semi elective monarch. Cromwell was appointed as Lord Protector, and declared England would now be known as the "Commonwealth of England, Caledonia and Ireland". Power was further vested in the hands of the New Model Army who effectively controlled the government.

In 1652 dispute between English and Dutch territory in the East Indies brought along the Anglo-Dutch war. The Commonwealth scored a decisive victory, with Cromwell able to broker a peace treaty between the Commonwealth and the Dutch Republic. As well as this Cromwell engaged in the Anglo-Spanish War in 1654.

ngland faced invasion from both Scotland and Ireland, with the former seeing Charles I son Charles as the king of Scotland and England. Cromwell led military forces to help quell this threat, capturing Charles and imprisoning him for treason in 1651. This helped end Royalist rebellions in Scotland.

Ireland was subjected to harsh treatment by the army with Cromwell ordering the massacre of many Irish Catholics, and eventually ending the Irish Catholic Confederation putting Ireland under British control.

The Protectorate (1653-1701)

In 1653 the Rump parliament was dissolved under the orders of Cromwell who along with John Lambert drafted the Instrument of Government which vested executive power in the hands of a Lord Protector, a semi elective monarch. Cromwell was appointed as Lord Protector, and declared England would now be known as the "Commonwealth of England, Scotland and Ireland". Power was further vested in the hands of the New Model Army who effectively controlled the government. The Lord Protector also held complete power over British overseas territories, namely the thirteen British Colonies in America.

In 1652 dispute between English and Dutch territory in the East Indies brought along the Anglo-Dutch war. The Commonwealth scored a decisive victory, with Cromwell able to broker a peace treaty between the Commonwealth and the Dutch Republic. As well as this Cromwell engaged in the Anglo-Spanish War in 1654.

Cromwell died in 1658, naming his successor as Charles Fleetwood. Fleetwood was able to gain the support of the New Model Army, with his aide's including General Lambert. Fleetwood's first decision was to order the execution of George Monck who posed a significant political threat, as well as placing Richard Cromwell under house arrest. Fleetwood soon led a bloodless coup in parliament installing loyal members of the New Model Army, with the army effectively having complete control over Britain and Ireland. Fleetwood then arranged a peace treaty with Spain ending the Anglo-Spanish wars.

Fleetwood's appointment brought a wave of optimism to the English as he relaxed some of Cormwells more puritan policies. riding this wave of popularity Fleetwood led the second Anglo-Dutch war, which unlike its predecessor led to an embarrassing defeat. Fleetwood, fearing for his position led the third Anglo-Dutch war due to continued war treaties with France forcing him to do so. This led to another defeat, with parliament forcing Fleetwood to sign a peace treaty with the Dutch.

Fleetwood sought to expand Britain's overseas territories, especially in the African continent. He commissioned the formation of the London African Company, which was set up to exploit Gambian gold fields, but soon ignited the slave trade from the West Coast of Africa to the Americas. Fleetwood died in 1692 with Harold Dudley taking power in his place. Scotland also started to build up their own empire in 1695 by trying to establish their own colonies, resulting in the Darien scheme. The Darien Scheme was a financial disaster for Scotland, and in 1701 an Act of Union between England and Scotland was enacted, formally uniting their parliaments.

British Empire

British empire map

Map of the British Empire

The Socialist revolution (1919-1920)

The British Social Revolution has been labelled as one of the turning points in history. As the first socialist state Britain set the mould for many others (such as Russia) to follow.

There were several leading figures behind the Socialist revolution. First were German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, who developed the ideas of socialism and communism, creating the political theory of Marxism. Marxism was slow to spread through Britain compared to both Russia and Germany, where the concepts quickly grew in popularity. However among some of the more educated of the working class the theories were soon spread with the forming of several political parties and organisations.

The most powerful of these was the Socialist party and the Marxist party. The Socialists were led by Leopold Marsden, Thomas Raply and Peter Wilbur, and the Marxists by Callum Baker, and Dominic Constable. While the Marxists were hardline communists, the socialist party departed from what was seen as the more radical Marxist parties instead emphasising the first form of Christian socialism.
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Leopold Marsden

Most historians agree that Marsden, Baker, Wilbur, Raply, and Constable were the main figures in the Socialist revolution.

In 1919 Lord Protector Herbert Kitchener announced his intentions to deploy British troops to fight Bolshevik forces in the Russian Civil War. This provoked outrage from the working class of Britain, and upon this announcement the Marxist and Socialist parties merged to form the People's Party of Britain. In league with unions began to order strikes across the whole of Britain, with protest occurring in Manchester and Cornwall. Soon both the North and South regions of England were thrown into chaos as workers began to use violence. Wales soon declared itself to be the "Socialist state of Wales" after Marxist leader Dominic Constable led armed workers into the administrative centre Cardiff. In response to this Kitchener passed the "Working Patriot Act" which required all working class men to sign up for the army. The army was deployed to pacify the workers in the west, with intense fighting soon breaking out on the Welsh boarder.

Opposition to the Working Patriots Act as well as the violence in the west of the country caused Scottish workers in Strathclyde, Lothian and Grampian to organise strikes. Soon the north and west side of Scotland were proclaiming themselves as a socialist state, with the eastern regions still being administrated by the government. Kitchener against the advice of parliament and initiated emergency powers, granting him complete control over the nation. The declaration of Scotland becoming a socialist state soon led to further uprisings in the North East, Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

Workers led an armed revolt through the capital London on the 21st February 1901, with Buckingham palace being destroyed in the revolts. Kitchener and his government relocated to Oxford, with the Eastern and South East regions of England still being under their control. In London the People's Party started to coordinate the revolutionaries through a collective leadership of Marsden, Baker, and Wilbur.

On the 16th December 1920 Kitchener was ousted from his position by Jonathan Sorenson in a bloodless coup, with Kitchener fleeing to the Isle of Man. Sorenson ended the Boer War, in order to consolidate power in his government in Oxford. In May 1902 the army officially declared its loyalty to the socialists. Sorenson soon began peace talks with Marsden, and on the 12th September the Union of British Protectorates was disbanded with the Commonwealth of Britain established in its place. Marsden took over as the Prime Minister of the transitional government, also naming himself Chairman of the State Presidium.

The Transitional period (1919-1939)

After the Socialist revolution the newly appointed government began to strengthen its power. The biggest problem the socialists faced were the reforms to the economy touted #by the People's Party. The Marxists argued that the workers should control the means of production, while the Socialists stated that the party should instead. Marsden called for a vote, where the decision in parliament concluded that the party should own the means of production. Shortly after this vote some of the top Marxist leaders - including Baker - were arrested and executed on charges of treason. Constable was placed under house arrest in Wales. Loyal followers of the Socialists were installed into power in their place.

Marsden then had the business and land owners of Britain arrested, with them all being offered to go to prison or hand over their assets to the government. Many had no choice but to comply by these demands. A large number of business/land owners had been killed in the revolution - their property were automatically given to the government. The government then ordered to put forward the Marsden plan, that demanded that Britain would invest in mass industrialisation, with all workers required to work in farms or factories. The Marsden plan resulted in famine and frequent deaths of workers, but soon the country had one of if not the most booming economies in the world.

The governments next task was the consolidation of power in overseas territories - for example, in India mass revolts had led to the British Raj's control to be weakened. Marsden ordered the rebels in overseas territories to be brutally punished - the Indian rebels were massacred, with an estimated 3 million casualties. The Socialist Raj of India was soon established with mass industrialisation sweeping across India in "economic reforms." These reforms caused starvation in the Calcutta famines, which resulted in the deaths of 4.9 million Indians. This combined with the aforementioned slaughter of Indian rebels has come to be known as the Indian Raj Genocide. Ceylon was also transformed into a socialist state - although under much more peaceful circumstances. The Burmese also faced brutal measures as the British established the Socialist State of Burma. President Marsden stated in a 1925 speech that "Any resistance from the Burmese people must be dealt with swiftly, as it was in India". The State was established soon afterwards.

The colonies in British East Africa (now known as Kenya) were much more subservient to the transition, as was the South Africans after the Boer War. British Rhodesia also agreed to the terms, with British territory in west Africa (including Nigeria) also welcoming the change, although resistance was substantial enough to send in the territorial army. In Egypt and the Middle East the British enabled the monarchs there to prolong their rule in return for their "unwavering loyalty". Marsden wrote in his private memoirs "We have told the people of Britain a little white lie...that the Arab states are now like us. Although in pains me to keep these people in power their loyalty is essential ."

In contrast to the violent resistance across the rest of the world Australia, New Zealand and Canada quickly made the transitions to become socialist states under the guidance of the British government. European countries saw the changes as merely cosmetic, citing that while Britain itself was a "peasants state" its overseas empire remained the same.

Countries and administrative divisions

There are four countries in the Commonwealth of Britain - England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. England is the largest of countries and also contains the de facto capital and largest city of Britain, London within it, where the Houses of Parliament (the seat of government) is located. The Assembly of England is also located in London. Scotland is the second largest country in Britain, with its capital being Edinburgh. Wales is located to the west of Britain, with Cardiff being its capital. Ireland is located on the island of Ireland with its Assembly being based in Dublin.

Flag Emblem Name Population Capital
Flag of England England seal Socialist Federative Republic of England 53,012,456 London
Flag of Scotland Scottish seal Socialist Republic of Scotland 5,313,600 Edinburgh
Flag of Wales Welsh seal Socialist Republic of Wales 3,063,456 Cardiff
500px-Ulster banner.svg 20150719193016!Coat of Arms of Northern Ireland Socialist Federative Republic of Ireland 6,572,728 Dublin

There is one special administrative region within the Commonwealth; the City of London, which is located in England. Although the subject to British laws they enjoy a limited degree of autonomy.

Flag Emblem Name Population Capital
100px-Flag of the City of London.svg 607px-Coat of Arms of The City of London.svg City of London 7,375 N/A

There are fifteen overseas territories of Britain. These territories are officially governed by Parliament and are subject to Parliaments law. Some (such as Gibraltar and Bermuda) function as special economic zones in a similar manner to the City of London whilst others (such as Dhekelia and the British Indian Ocean Territory) serve as military installations.

Flag Emblem Name Population Capital
War falg 223px-MinistryofDefence Dhekelia (under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Defence) 7,000 (about half British military and staff); Episkopi Cantonment
Anguilla flag Anguilla Anguilla 13,500 The Valley
Burmundaflag Bermuda Bermuda 64,000 Hamilton
Flag of the British Antarctic Territory Coat of arms of the British Antarctic Territory British Antarctic Territory ~50 Rothera Research Station|Rothera}} (main base)
IOT flag IOT Britannian Indian Ocean Territory About 3,000 British and Westlandic military and staff. Diego Garcia (base)
Virgin islands Virginislands Britannian Virgin Islands 27,000 Road Town
CYAMAN islands Cayman Islands Cayman Islands 54,878 George Town
Flaklands colony flag CoAflaklnds colony Falkland Islands 2,955 Stanley
Gibralter flag Gibraltar Gibraltar 28,800 Gibraltar
Montserrat flag Montserrat Montserrat 4,655 Plymouth (abandoned due to volcano—de facto capital is Brades)
Pitcain flag Pitcain islands Pitcairn Islands 48 Adamstown
St helana flag Saint Helena Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha   5,530 Total
4,255 (Saint Helena only; 2008 census)
Jamestown
Ascension flag Ascension Island
Tristina flag Tristan da Cunha
Flag of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands Coat of arms of South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands 99 King Edward Point
Turks islands flag Turks and Caicos Islands Turks and Caicos Islands 32,000 (2006 census estimate) Cockburn Town

Britain also has three state dependencies. Whilst they are not sovereign nations they are also not legally part of the commonwealth, but rather swear allegiance to the "Crown Sovereign" (recognised as the Lord Protector) and are responsible for maintaining their own governments that decide on all but foreign relations which are handled by the central government in London.

Flag Emblem Name Population Capital
Flag of the Isle of Mann.svg Isle of Man coa Isle of Man 84,497 Douglas
Flag of Jersey Jersey coa Jersey 97,857 Saint Helier
900px-Flag of Guernsey.svg Guernsey coa Guernsey 65,345 St Peter Port

Politics

Britain
Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Britannia.png

This article is part of the series:
Politics and government of the
the Commonwealth of Great Britain
and Northern Ireland


Britain officially maintains a parliamentary commonwealth with an elected constitutional monarchy. The head of state is the Lord Protector, who enjoys limited power and appointed by the House of State. The Head of Government is the prime minister, who is the leader of the majority party or coalition in the House of Commons. Britain has no formally codified constitution, being based around varies parliamentary acts, decrees, court judgements, and treaties.

Using a bicameral legislature, the Commonwealth maintain two houses: the House of State (Upper House) and the House of Commons (Lower House). The House of State is intended to represent the British State and the House of Commons the population as a whole. Traditionally members of the House of State are appointed by the government, are hereditary peers or are members of the Lord Spiritual. The House of Commons meanwhile is made up of a representative of each constituency in Britain, who is elected democratically using a first past the post system. The party with the most members in the House of Commons makes up the incumbent government, with the leader of the party being the Prime Minister. Currently, the Conservative Party holds a majority government with leader William Fawcett being prime minister. Multiple political parties exist in the Commonwealth, with the Labour Party and the Conservatives having remained the dominant parties in Britain since 1945.

The Cabinet of Ministers is the main executive body of Britain with members being appointed by the Prime Minister and approved by the Paramount Leader. The Cabinet is made up of a council of ministers who have control over various functions (eg. education, defence, foreign affairs, etc).

63950-640x360-london-icons2-640

The Houses of Parliament, where the House of State and the House of the People convene

The Lord Protector possesses a limited amount of power as head of state. They can declare war, appoint ministers, dissolve parliament and amend laws. The Lord Protector also functions as head of the military and of the Church of England. In times of war or what the Lord Protector would deem an emergency he may override all protocols and become the Supreme ruler, having absolute control over Britain. The Lord Protector is appointed by the House of State, and retains their position until death unless they chooses to step down. The current Lord Protector is Elizabeth, Lady of Windsor. In practice these powers are ceremonial.

Each of the four member countries have a devolved parliament who possess limited power over their respective countries. The Scottish, English, Welsh and Northern Irish governments enjoy a great degree of autonomy with full legislative powers. However the central parliament can veto any law put forward by these devolved parliaments if they deemed unreasonable by a majority vote. Currently the Scottish government is headed by the Scottish nationalist party, and the English and the Welsh the Labour party. The regional parliaments main power is held over agriculture, education, environmental policies, health and social services, housing, law and order, local government, sport and the arts, tourism and economic development and transportation. The central government passes law related to benefits and social security, immigration, defence, foreign policy, employment, broadcasting, trade and industry, energy, consumer rights, data protection, and the Constitution.

The Special Administrative region of the City of London serves as one of the primary businesses centres on the planet, which serves as one of the only places where international companies can reside in Britannia.

Law

Foreign Relations

Main article: Foreign relations of Britain

Britain maintains a policy of neutrality in international affairs, despite being a member of NATO. It holds a permanent seat of the League of Nations security council, as well as being a member of the Council of Europe. It is also a G7, G8 and G20 nation. Britain is also a key player in the Commonwealth of Nations, the OSCE and the World Trade Organization.

Britain maintains good relations with most countries within the EU, with particularly good relations with the two other European powers - Spain and France. Britain also supports ex-communist nations like Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, and Ukraine, within the EU. Britain have friendly relations between Commonwealth nations, such as India Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and South Africa.

Britain maintains good relations with the majority of nations in the IOSS. In particular, Britain has full trade with Cuba, opposing the US embargo. Britain also have good relations with observer states within IOSS such as Bulgaria, Peru and Mongolia. Britain was a strong supporter of the presidency of Hugo Chávez, and retain close ties with Venezuela. Britain aided the leftist pro-government forces in the Chilean Civil War, and remains strong ally of Chile.

Britain has maintained stable relations with the United States, Sierra, France, Russia and China. Britannia retains heavy economic ties between all the nations, but has resolved to "neither support nor oppose any of the current world power". Many see Britain's membership in NATO as a clear contradiction of this as well as their recent opposition to Russia during the 2014 Ukraine crisis.

Military

0013729e4abe090a6e4849

The Grenadier Guards, part of the Guard Divisions of Britannia

Britannia's armed forces are known as the Commonwealth Armed Forces, and are divided into three branches - the Commonwealth Naval Services (split into the Commonwealth Marines and Commonwealth Navy) the Commonwealth Air Forces and the Commonwealth Army. The Ministry of Defence handles matters related to defence, with the Defence Council controlling the military directly. The Paramount Leader serves as the Commander in Chief of the military. Britain is a nuclear weapons state, and maintains one of the most powerful military force on Earth with a defence budget of £45.4 billion (around $74.2 billion).

Britain's nuclear program is known as the Trident Nuclear program and consists of four Vanguard-class submarines each armed with Trident II D-5 ballistic missiles. Britain has the capability to fire thermonuclear weapons. One Trident submarine is always on active patrol around the world and its location disclosed; another is always nominally undergoing maintenance and the last two on training and naval excises.

The first nuclear weapon (known as Operation Hurricane) launched by Britain was a 25 kiloton weapon detonated in 1952 on the Montebello Islands, West Australia. The current Trident program was started in the 1980's, and has been retained despite opposition to its renewal.

Geography

Economy

Canary Wharf

Canary Wharf, where the headquarters of many of businesses are located

Britain's economy is a mixture of central planning, state ownership of large enterprises, and private trading and service ventures. Its mixed economy has been praised as being a prime example of a booming private sector working alongside a state dominated one, similar to the social democracies of the Nordic countries. Britain has the third largest economy in Europe and the eighth largest economy in the world. The national currency of Britain is the pound sterling, which holds more value then both the US dollar and the Euro. Britain has a large industrial and service sector, with primary exports including coal, steel, automotive vehicles and components, and petroleum based fuel products. Consumer goods such as high quality electronics, pharmaceuticals, entertainment (such as television, films and music), and food are produced in Britain. Britain's pharmaceutical and computer industries have seen significant development, with its primary markets being located in Europe. Britain has sought to balance out welfare and socialist policies with capitalism that allows it economic growth. Britain has been praised for maintaining a high standard of living, although critics say that the cost of living is very expensive.

Britain's state owned industries have been described as using a "bottom up" approach with workers' self-management being carried out via collective workers councils. A variety of businesses sectors are owned by the central government, but workers councils largely run the businesses on behalf of the government, who would ultimately have the final say on how the businesses is run. The central government along with labour unions formulate workers rights, wages and wealth distribution whilst the workers councils decide on how the business should be run in a way that would not only increase profits but also satisfy the needs of the workers. Each worker is entitled to posses one vote whenever new company policy is formulated. This method has proven to be controversial as the government has been accused of not monitoring businesses that do not let their workers councils make policy decisions instead relying on a select group of technocrats. Unemployment has been a chronic problem in Britain especially since the 2008 Great Recession, with figures being as high as 25.4% in 2009. Forced austerity measures have resulted in accusations that the government has failed to maintain the welfare state nominally supported, with food banks having become increasingly common. The election of Eric Victor in 2010 saw the gradual scaling back of austerity, with unemployment becoming 12.8% in 2013.

Bank of England

The headquarters of the Bank of England which serves as the central bank of Britain.

Private ownership is allowed in Britain although it functions under a degree of regulations. Around 51% of the economy is privately owned, most notably in the service sector which has expanded in Britain. Britain expects most companies to comply with labour laws and usually are controlled partly by unions.

Special economic zones exist in various places in Britain, most notable the City of London, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Bermuda, Jersey and Guernsey. These regions have much less government regulation then that of Britain proper, and thus have become economic hubs for foreign investment and companies. The City of London especially has a large concentration of millionaires and has been compared to Hong Kong, which itself served as a special economic zone before it was passed to China.

Britain's largest export partners are Germany, France, Spain, Chile and Ireland. Its largest import partners include China, Westland, Germany, Venezuela, and France.

Key industries in Britain include the tourism industry, which has seen a notable rise in recent years thanks to the reopening of Buckingham Palace and the 2012 London Olympics.

Welfare

The British government currently maintains an expansive welfare system which aims to provide facilities for healthcare, housing, employment, education, and social security. Every citizen is granted by the Constitution the right to access of the welfare state and its facilities. The first incarnation of a welfare state in Britain dates back to the 1906 general elections, in which the Liberal Party implemented welfare reforms following the rise of the Labour Party. The Britannian revolution saw an expansive welfare system created, with the creation of the National Health Service. Also after the revolution, the government became committed to providing affordable housing in Britain, with housing prices forcibly slashed as they became reformed as council houses. Communal apartments were also created for those on low income, and almost all stated basic needs (such as heating, water and electricity) were subsidised partly by the government. As of 2015 this policy is no longer in effect.

In 2005 the Conservative government implemented controversial welfare reform that saw previous government subsidies to housing and employment cut in order to "stimulate the economy". The Golding ministry from 2005 furthered this by slowly increasing austerity and making further cuts mostly in education and employment. These changes became hugely unpopular with unemployment rates became astronomically high in 2009. The current Labour government reduced austerity measures and reversed most of the extreme cuts. However new taxes, higher tax rates and cuts in pensions and welfare has led to controversy within Britain.

Demographics

Religion

The state religion of Britain is the Church of England - however, in practice Britain has freedom of religion. 68.9% of people identify themselves as Christian, 24.3% Atheist/Agnostic, 4.4 Muslim, 1.3 Hindu, and 1.1% other faiths. Catholicism is the only religion banned in Britain, although the Freedom of Religion Act of 1992 has rendered this ban to be largely ceremonial.

Education

Healthcare

NHS hospital

An NHS hospital in Norwich.

Britain maintains a universal healthcare program centred around the state supported National Health Service (NHS). Spending on the NHS remains a government priority, with all permanent citizens being registered to be treated at NHS facilities. Around 8.1% of the GDP is spent on NHS facilities and staff. A 2011 report saw Britannia ranked as fifth in terms of healthcare facilities by the World Health Organisation. General Practitioners (GP's) deal primarily in general healthcare, with hospitals being used to provide specialised treatments. Britain has approximately 1 GP for every 250 people. Compared to other western nations, both doctors and general practitioners are paid seemingly low wages. Life expectancy in Britain averages at 80.1 years for males and 83.5 for females.

Culture